Physical Activity, Fitness and Exercise and Their Differences

physical activity and exercise

Physical activity is any action or bodily movement that results in energy expenditure. This energy expense can be measured or evaluated in kilocalories. Physical activity can either be occupational, sports, operational, household activity and so on.

Physical fitness entails the performance of the heart and lungs, as well as the body’s muscles. And, because what we do with our bodies affects what we can do with our minds, fitness influences attributes like mental attentiveness and emotional stability to some extent.

Fine tuning an engine is what physical fitness is to the human body. It helps us to reach our full potential. Fitness is a state that allows us to appear, feel, and perform at our best. Fitness also can be health related or skill related (the right form for a carrying out a skill, fitness for an engineer is not the same fitness for an athlete).

Physical activity and Exercise

Exercise is a subset of physical activity that is planned, structured, repetitive and must have an expected outcome from the process or procedure. It is purposeful. It can either be aerobics, resistance training or flexibility exercises.

Aerobics – repetitive movements of muscles, improves cardio fitness e.g., dancing, jogging, biking, cycling and so on

Resistance training – repetitive movements with added resistance to improve muscle strength, endurance, and body appearance e.g. includes weights, kettle bells and dumb bell exercises, exercising with resistance bands, and so on.

Physical Fitness as relating to Health;

  • Cardiorespiratory fitness – ability to exercise or be active for a long time without stopping examples of activities include swimming, long distance running etc. Requires strength, healthy lungs, heart and blood vessels to supply to your muscles.
  • Muscular strength – amount of force your muscles can produce per time.
  • Muscular endurance fitness – How long you can use those muscles without tiring or stopping.
  • Flexibility fitness – ability to use your joints in a variety of motions and direction without injury
  • Body composition – tissues and mass making up your body like fat, muscles, bone, organs. Your body mass index and your body fat composition.

Also Read; Does Coffee cause weight loss?…..

Knowing The Basics

Physical fitness is understood by examining its components;

  • Aerobic Fitness  also known as cardiorespiratory endurance, is the capacity to provide oxygen and nutrients to tissues while also removing wastes over long periods of time. Guidelines is, most days, 20-30 minutes of exercise to boost your heart rate.
  • Muscular Fitness refers to muscle strength and endurance. Muscular fitness improves through strength exercise. It also allows you to improve your lean muscle mass, which aids in weight loss. Guidelines is two or three 30-minute workouts per week that tire the major muscular groups (may be calisthenics or weight training).
  • Flexibility is defined as the ability to move joints and use muscles throughout their entire range of motion. Flexibility can help with daily tasks, improve circulation and posture, relieve stress, and improve coordination. Stretching, according to several experts, can help lessen the chance of injury from physical exercise. Guidelines: Stretch when you work out or at least three times a week to keep your flexibility.
  • Stability and Balance are related to your body’s core muscular strength – the muscles in your lower back, pelvis, hips, and abdomen. These muscles are stronger and aid with bad posture and low back discomfort. It also aids in the prevention of falls, particularly in the elderly.

See Health and Medical advice on Types and how to start your exercise journey

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